Client: King Pacific Lodge, A Rosewood Resort
Project: Business strategy development and implementation including all aspects of marketing, sales, operations, finance and administration
Suzanne Denbak held the position of Vice President for five years (2004-2009) working closely with the President to establish and implement business strategy related to media relations, web presence, tour operator relations, guest experience, employee recruitment and training, annual budget and daily monitoring of financial performance in season, risk management and finance.
“Suzanne provided both strategic thoughtfulness and a pragmatic focus on results for King Pacific Lodge. Our success as a leader in sustainable tourism in British Columbia and as one of the top-rated resorts in the world requires the passion, dedication and contributions of individuals such as Suzanne.”
Former General Manager
King Pacific Lodge
Client: Skidegate Band Council, Haida Gwaii
Project: Destination Development Strategy for Haida Gwaii
Suzanne worked together with Upperfield Consulting to develop a comprehensive, market-driven sustainable tourism strategy for Haida Gwaii that included market research, identification of target markets, branding and positioning of a Haida Gwaii tourism experience and creative execution for website development, lure brochures and other collateral. This review also considered existing tourism experiences and identified new product development opportunities to support destination tourism and visitation to the Haida Heritage Centre. The recommended branding was deployed at Haida House as part of the 2010 Winter Olympics held in Vancouver/Whistler.
Client: Xeni Gwet’in First Nation
Project: Best Practices in Tourism Land Management/Access
Branding, Market Positioning and Key Messages
Trade/consumer show booth design
Cadence Strategies was engaged to reviewed best practices in tourism land management and access protocols around North America and share these lessons with the Xeni community. Suzanne engaged with the Xeni community to establish broadly supported visitor protocol for those wishing to visit the Xeni Gwet’in Caretaker Area. This protocol is now posted throughout the territory.
Suzanne also undertake a branding and competitive positioning review for the world class tourism experiences found in the Xeni Gwet’in Caretaker Area that included competitive benchmarking and the development of key market messages. This branding and positioning was translated into the development of a new umbrella identity for all future tourism initiatives.
Suzanne’s most recent work with the Xeni Gwet’in included development of a media kit for visiting journalists including suggested storylines; development of web content; design of a new lure brochure and design/purchase of a trade/consumer show booth.
“Suzanne brings a strategic and thoughtful approach to aboriginal cultural tourism that respects First Nation values and concerns about appropriate cultural sharing while still keeping clear focus on the nature of experiences that today’s travelers are seeking. Her work with the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation has built a sound foundation for the growth of a sustainable tourism economy.”
Xeni Gwet’in First Nation
Client: Northern Secwepemc Cultural Society
Project: Feasibility Study of Proposed Cultural Centre
Suzanne Denbak worked together with an architectural team to assess the feasibility of the development of a First Nations Cultural Centre at 108 Mile House for the five Northern Secwepemc communities (Eskétemc - Alkali Lake, Tsq'escen - Canim Lake, Stswécemc - Canoe Creek, Xat'súll - Soda Creek, T’exelc - Williams Lake). This scope of work included comprehensive stakeholder consultations regarding local aspirations for the facility and visitor experiences to be shared, identification and consultation with potential partner organizations and a review of available market research. As well, a comprehensive business plan (visitation estimates, pricing structure, revenue streams, operating costs etc.) was developed that considered both operating and capital requirements for the Cultural Centre.
Suzanne also facilitated discussions with local community representatives to develop key market messages and a regional brand identity that will be used by the Cultural Centre and by new tourism businesses to be launched in each of the five Northern Secwepemc communities. Using the Cultural Centre as a ‘launch point’, the project also studied the development of several new community supported sustainable tourism experiences for visitors wishing to have a more immersive cultural experience.
Client: Carrier Chilcotin Tribal Council
Project: Tourism Opportunities Study – Nuxalk/Mackenize Grease Trail
Suzanne Denbak was engaged to review the tourism opportunities available to First Nations communities with territories along the historic Nuxalk/Mackenzie Grease Trail from Bella Coola to Quesnel. Six communities were engaged in a facilitated discussion and their opportunities and concerns with tourism development identified (Nuxalk Nation, Ulkatcho, Lhtako Dené Nation, Lhoosk’uz Dene Government, Nazko First Nation, Lheidli Tenneh First Nation). Market research was examined and highest opportunity target markets and their experiential needs identified. Product development opportunities were assessed given the unique cultural and natural offerings available and potential tourism product itineraries developed. A tourism marketing strategy and implementation considerations were also included in the final tourism opportunities study.
Client: Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum Society
Project: Reinvention of Museum Concept
Suzanne Denbak was engaged by Robertson Enterprises to assist the Buffalo Luxton Museum in Banff, AB in its reinvention. This assignment included a review of market research related to cultural facilities and aboriginal experiences, consultation with potential partner organizations (Banff Lake Louise Tourism, The Banff Centre, etc.) and a review of comparable facilities to identify transferable lessons. A comprehensive plan was developed that would transform the facility into an authentic and engaging experience for visitors and would reverse declines in facility revenue and profitability. This plan included a staged implementation that recognized financial and human capacity constraints.
“Suzanne provided exceptional guidance in understanding market trends related to aboriginal cultural tourism and the translation of these opportunities into a realistic plan to reinvent the Buffalo Luxton Museum in Banff.”
Mr. Terry Robertson, BA, MBA
Robertson Enterprise Consulting
Client: Coastal First Nations/Great Bear Initiative
Project: Sustainable Tourism Implementation Framework
Coastal First Nations/Great Bear Initiative have over the past ten years secured rights to tourism tenures in their traditional territories through the Reconciliation Protocol Agreement with the Province of British Columbia. Cadence Strategies is working together with Coastal First Nations participating in the Great Bear Initiative to develop a proposed sustainable tourism implementation framework to secure benefits on the ground from these successful political negotiations. The Great Bear Initiative includes representatives of Wuikinuxv Nation, Heiltsuk Nation, Nuxalk Nation, Kitasoo/Xaixais First Nation, Gitga’at First Nation, Haisla, Metlakatla First Nation, Old Massett Village Council, Skidegate Band Council, Council of the Haida Nation. The sustainable tourism implementation framework includes a community engagement process and an assessment of community willingness/ readiness to participate in the tourism economy, market demand for Coastal First Nations tourism experiences, extensive capacity building programs and business support for the launch of new aboriginal tourism ventures. Branding and marketing strategies for existing and new aboriginal cultural tourism experiences are also included in the framework.
“Suzanne has been an invaluable resource in the development of our proposed sustainable tourism implementation framework. We are looking forward to rolling out this framework together with her for the benefit of all Coastal First Nations in the Great Bear Initiative.”
Director of Land and Marine Stewardship
Coastal First Nations/Great Bear Initiative
Client: Callaway: Resort, Gardens Preserve
Project: Branding and competitive positioning
Client: Red Mountain Ventures
Project: Economic impact of proposed gold course development
Suzanne was engaged as part of a multi-disciplinary team to assess the impact of a proposed golf course development at the base of Red Mountain. Her contribution to the project included a review of estimated incremental tourism impacts associated with destination golfers including impacts on hotel occupancy and room rate. She further assessed the implications of the development on Municipal finances includes estimates of incremental property taxes and incremental costs associated with roads, parks and other amenities.
“Suzanne’s background in finance and economics as well as her designation as a Chartered Accountant compliment her knowledge and experience in the tourism industry and allow her to assess economic impacts associated with tourism development. Suzanne was an important contributor to the project and provided important insights to both potential benefits and costs of the proposed golf course development.”
Mr. Don Thompson
Red Mountain Ventures
Client: Whistler Museum & Archives
Project: Market Assessment and Creative Concept
Suzanne participated on a multi-disciplinary team that reviewed the market context for museum and cultural facilities in British Columbia as well as the nature of experiences that visitors are seeking. Comparable facilities were studied and transferable lessons and best practices in cultural concept development and delivery were summarized. Potential partner organizations were contacted and opportunities to leverage experiences and resources documented. A summary assessment of strengths/weaknesses/ opportunities and threats contributed to the development of a proposed museum concept. In addition to studies of best practices and discussions with potential partners, Suzanne led concept testing elements of the project including discussions with local community members and overseas tour operators.
Client: Whistler Museum & Archives
Project: Feasibility Study for Proposed Museum Concept
Building upon her previous work in concept development for the Whistler Museum & Archives, Suzanne was asked to join a multi-disciplinary team of consultants studying the feasibility of the proposed new Whistler Museum & Archives concept. Her work included review of potential revenues from admission, programs and special exhibits. As well, she contributed expertise to site selection and to an assessment of capital and operating costs including labour, program delivery expenses and marketing/sales budgets. This study also included a stakeholder engagement process that involved the organization’s Board of Directors, the local Whistler community and potential partner organizations.
“Suzanne’s strong financial and analytical skills compliment her knowledge of tourism markets and the experiences that visitors are seeking allowing her to accurately assess the feasibility of new tourism businesses and cultural facilities. We would welcome the opportunity to work with Suzanne again.”
Mr. David Whetter
Cornerstone Planning Group
The Bottom Line: Suzanne will deliver results and help you achieve your tourism objectives. Read what my clients have to say here.